New York climate – what weather to expect in NYC across the year

The state of New York is the 27 largest in the United States. The climate in the state which stretches for over 320 miles east to west and 330 miles south to north, varies considerably, depending on the location.

In general terms, the state is within a zone of humid continental climate. The southwestern part of the state has a warm temperate climate, benefitting from the attenuating influence of the Atlantic Ocean. In the article below we will focus on the climate in New York City. Find out what weather to expect in the ‘Big Apple’ over the year.

New York in spring
In the opinion of many travellers, spring is the best time of the year to visit New York, especially if you can plan your trip for April and May. After the still rather chilly March (temperature often below 10 degrees Celsius), temperatures gradually increase to an average of 15 degrees Celsius in April and even 20 in May.

 Although April is the wettest month in New York City (with the largest volume of rainfall), overall humidity is the lowest in spring.

Enjoy the nature waking up to life in the city’s iconic Central Park and join the New Yorkers soaking up the spring sun:

Please remember that regardless of how optimistic the weather forecast looks like, it is always recommendable to bring an umbrella when visiting New York in spring, as the weather may change abruptly.

Summer in the city – New York
Hot and sticky are the first characteristics to come to mind when describing the weather in New York in July and August. In June, if you are lucky, it is sometimes still possible to escape the oppressive heat and humidity.

The average temperatures in July and August are at about 25-27 degrees Celsius, occasionally peaking 30 and above. In the heavy build up city, which accumulates heat and allows little breeze from the ocean, the temperatures may often feel higher than they in reality are. High humidity, often near 80% contributes to that too.

Curiously enough, the peak of the summer may actually be not the worst time for a tourist visit to New York, as the city gets less crowded with many locals vacationing elsewhere and the access to the major attractions is easier. If you have hard time coping with the summer weather in NYC, seek refuge in the nearby beaches  city beaches, or example Coney Island, or travel a bit further, to the Hamptons.

A few suggestions of what to do in Coney Island:

New York autumn weather
Central Park is once again, a great place to be in New York, in order to appreciate the beauty of the early autumn season. While September can still be quite hot, with temperatures way above 20 degrees Celsius, in October the city is pleasantly chilled and its ‘green’ areas slowly give way to an amazing show of autumn colours – yellow, golden and reds.

From the end of September the temperatures start decreasing abruptly, to an average of 10 degrees in late November, so a solid outer jacket is an absolute requirement in order to sightsee comfortably. Make it a rain jacket if visiting New York in November, as rainfall might be quite heavy during that month.

In November also the wind picks up in the city which remains fairly windy throughout the winter and early spring.

Winter in New York
January is the coldest month in New York, with temperatures often falling between the freezing point. Snowfall is frequent on those occasions. Snow storms may occur, with heavy downfall and strong to very strong gusts of wind. New York, in fact, experience several severe snow storms in the last years, a great majority of them having taken place in the month of January. The latest one was the 2016 blizzard which stopped the city for 24 hours, starting from the night of 23rd of January.  

When temperatures are above 0 degrees, you will often experience fairy uncomfortable dampness, as the city’s air remains humid until the February.

In winter, do not miss out on the Christmas tree lighting at the Rockefeller Centre and swish away on one of the city’s seasonal ice skating rinks (for example, in Bryant Park or Central Park).

Please note, that those above are just general guidelines to New Your climate. The weather in the city can be quite changeable and it is always advisable to consult New York current weather conditions and forecast in before setting off for your trip. 

Read also: New York travel - compare New York car hire and other transportation options in NYC.

New York climate – what weather to expect in NYC across the year
Article: New York climate – what weather to expect in NYC across the year
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